Last night, someone controlling the LuzSec twitter account published a UK mobile phone number inviting people to give them a call.
This followed an earlier tweet from the group saying that they were working “with certain media outlets” providing “exclusive access” to the News of The World emails claimed to be in their possession. All very exciting perhaps, but then things took a really odd twist.
To the casual observer this might seem an unusual step given that hackers are careful to avoid releasing information that might give clues as to their location. Within a few minutes the identity of the true owner was revealed.
Step forward one Charles Arthur, Technology Editor at the Guardian. The tweet was quickly followed by another, claiming Arthur had been illegally feeding LulzSec with “internal info” for 3 months and had then “ditched them” with an arrest plea to finish off.
Cue a flurry of tweets from would-be LulzSec supporters and others condemning the release of the mobile number. Speculation as to the reason behind the action was also rife, with some citing Arthur’s recent story about LulzSec’s apparent u-turn on the release of News of The World emails thought to have been extracted from News International’s (NI) servers during recent hacking activity which in turn resulted in a number of NI websites being compromised.
Arthur it seems, was not amused judging by his “warning” to the group and his request to Del Harvey of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team to intervene by removing the ‘offending’ tweet from LulzSec’s timeline. BroadbandWatcher has been unable to find any further public interaction between the two, but as of this morning neither tweet was visible.
What’s not clear is whether LulzSec removed the tweets of their own accord or whether staff at Twitter censored its timeline. But the cat, as they say, remains out of the bag as retweets and mentions do not appear to have been affected by the cleanup.
At the time of writing, no further comment has been posted on LulzSec’s timeline leading some to suspect the group has been ‘locked out’ of its own Twitter account.
UPDATE: Thanks to Phil Midwinter who offered some thoughts, which helped Broadbandwatcher to find this exchange on Twitter, which might be the explanation behind all this drama…
UPDATE 2: Thanks to Charles Arthur at the Guardian who has confirmed that LulzSec, deleted the tweet(s) in question.